Nexstar Gets Aggressive Ahead Of Possible DirecTV Impasse


The latest battle over retransmission consent fees paid by a television services provider is brewing, and Nexstar Media Group has taken a truculent approach to wooing viewers into demanding a rebate, should they experience a “blackout” of any Nexstar station, or switch providers from DirecTV or U-Verse.

A microsite has been established by Nexstar,, that is accessible from the company’s stations tied to its broadcast TV network, The CW. A message appears on the KTLA-5 in Los Angeles website, noting that DirecTV and U-Verse are threatening to take away the station.

A generic message for other affiliates of The CW that Nexstar negotiates retransmission consent rates for — including Mission Broadcasting-owned but Nexstar-run WPIX-11 in New York — also was created and appears here:

Viewers of KTLA are being asked to phone in their support to a dedicated line, while other CW stations have a different phone line, offering consumers to “take action now.”

What’s going on? Nexstar explains, “That contract could soon expire and DIRECT/UVERSE might remove our station from your schedule.”

As far as Nexstar sees it, it has presented a proposal “for fair value compensation, based on the importance and value our programming brings to our viewers.” Yet, “despite our tireless efforts, DIRECTV/UVERSE has refused our fair offer and doesn’t seem to care if you must go without.”

As is typical in retransmission consent impasses, even potential ones, there is much fingerpointing, with Nexstar accusing DirecTV and U-Verse of being the guilty party.

For its part, DirecTV said in a statement that Nexstar “is demanding to more than double the amount it charges our customers … Unfortunately, Nexstar has a long track record of demanding significantly higher fees from all pay TV operators and often forces providers to stop carrying their channels during negotiations. DirecTV will take the necessary actions to provide our customers access to their favorite programming while protecting them from unwarranted price increases.”

However, Nexstar, like other broadcast TV companies, have relied on a rapid increase in retransmission consent revenues to offset core advertising revenue weakness.

An impasse would result in a “blackout” of some 200 stations across 100 markets on Saturday (7/1). That means stations including WIVB-4, the CBS affiliate serving Buffalo, and not just stations tied to the CW, are at risk of being blacked out by the DBS provider.




  1. As a direct TV customer I’m sick of it direct TV had a commitment to me and the low down bastards shut it off during big Nascar race my bill paid till 15th not happy between NBC and direct TV I can’t watch Nascar they seem to do everything they can to keep it off TV finding hew provider

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